Has Philly become immune to murder?

Michael Nutter
RIKARD LARMA/METRO

“The fabric of our human nature is being ripped apart, piece by piece, thread by thread, and at some point, what happens?” Mayor Michael Nutter said at a Kensington anti-violence rally “We don’t have a fabric anymore.”

He was referring to the violent first 15 days of the year, in which the city saw 20 murders, the highest during this time span since the notoriously bloody year of 2007. That includes both the slayings of three young teens in Juniata last Tuesday, allegedly by a 30-year-old stepfather, and the beating death of a 23-year-old Temple grad in Old City early Saturday morning.

Though this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service was supposed to center around hunger and economic injustice, the recent brutalities shined a light on the issue of youth violence in the city.  

“I refuse to believe people in Philadelphia are so different, so much more murderous, so much more vicious,” Nutter said. “Unfortunately, we got off to a really bad start.”

He assured those gathered at Bethel Temple Community Bible Church that the trend could be reversed. “We have the year to come to write the story. We get to decide what tomorrow is about and we get to decide how bright it is.” 

But some of those gathered were still smarting from last week’s fatal shooting of three teens, which occurred a mere mile from the church. “I try not to show it, but I’m really hurt inside,” said Ray Rivera, 19. “Dante was like my little cousin. When I found out that day, I started crying. I cried for three days.”

Old City slaying still open

Police are still looking for three men who allegedly beat Temple grad Kevin Kless, 23, to death early Saturday morning.

Mayor Michael Nutter said yesterday that he spoke to Kless’ mother by phone. “I said to her, ‘There’s nothing, really, I can say to you.’ What can I say?” he said during the anti-violence rally in Kensington. “We’ll do our best to find the people who did this, because there’s no way to explain it.”

Investigators have surveillance footage, but it is too grainy to provide many details. They are looking for a maroon four-door Mazda carrying four men of Middle Eastern or Indian descent and are asking the driver, who was not involved in the beating, to come forward.

They are also looking for more camera footage and other witnesses.
 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Man under evaluation for alleged gun threat at…

A man who allegedly threatened to open fire in the building that houses the Los Angeles Times' headquarters was being held in custody for a mental evaluation.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.